The 12 Best Fire Pits of 2023 for a Toasty Outdoor Hangout

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Best Fire Pits Tested

Better Homes & Gardens / Ashley Craiger

Fire pits make great places to gather as the weather cools down and the sun sets at the end of a long day (maybe with some drinks and s’mores, too). When shopping for a fire pit, you’ll find there are plenty of options—including propane or wood-burning, large bowl or small, smokeless or not—and you’re left with a lot of choices. So how do you find the best fire pit for you? 

Ryan Cunningham, outdoor expert and founder of the website Beyond The Tent, breaks down the different options. “If you will be using the fire pit in your backyard mainly, I would opt for wood or a 20-pound propane tank. If you will be taking it car camping, then a fire pit that runs off a 16-ounce propane tank is an ideal choice. For RVing, you could go either way depending on how much space you have.”

Plan out where you want to place your fire pit ahead of time, because that will help determine certain key details like the size you’ll need and possibly even the fuel type. With all of that in mind, we tested 18 fire pits and researched other popular choices, evaluating details such as set-up time, fire warmth, and how easy it is to clean out ash, to determine the best fire pits on the market.

Best Overall

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

Why You Should Get It
  • This sturdy, easy-to-use fire pit can comfortably warm six to eight people (without blowing smoke in their faces).

Keep in Mind
  • The most useful accessories, such as removable ash plates, are sold separately.

If you’re looking for a backyard fire pit that is easy to set up, use, and maintain, you can’t go wrong with our top pick. Turns out one of the best fire pits also happens to be one of the buzziest: the Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0. You’ve probably seen it on social media and recognize it by its distinctive cylindrical shape and style. This model exceeds the basic functionality you’d expect from a fire pit: The fire will burn for up to three or four hours, it won’t leave your clothes smelling at the end, and it can create a large, warming flame that burns evenly. 

It’s advertised as a smokeless model, which means that it has 360-degree airflow that burns off smoke before it can travel to your eyes and your clothes. But we’ve personally used this Solo Stove model for well over a year and can say that while it produces significantly less smoke than many fire pits, it’s not entirely smokeless—no “smokeless” models truly are. Still, the smoke that’s produced is incredibly minimal, typically only concentrated in a small area (just moving someone’s seat often solves the problem), and is more likely to occur with light wind. 

However, the best part by far is how easy it is to use and clean. It’s stainless steel and only 23 pounds, so you’ll have no problem moving it to different areas of the backyard (it even comes with a carrying case that has a handle handle). We’ve burned around 75 fires already, and, after cleaning the fire pit up with a soft cloth and emptying the removable ash pan, it looks like new on the outside. 

The accessory bundle is definitely recommended: If you’re already paying for the Bonfire 2.0, the removable ash pan is an add-on that makes cleaning take around 30 seconds. Once the ashes have completely cooled, pull the tray up, dump it out in your ash container, and you’re done. The bundle also has a cover so you can worry less about debris or rain getting into your fire pit, and an elevated base that allows you to set it on different surfaces. 

All the accessories aside, however, this is the best fire pit on the market for those wanting a fire pit’s basic joys: It starts a fire quickly, and it’ll keep at least six to eight people completely warm and comfortable. 

Price at time of publish: From $300

Product Details: Dimensions: 19.5 x 19.5 x 17.5 inches | Fuel Type: Wood | Material: Stainless steel

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 being tested.

Better Homes & Gardens / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Best Budget

Better Homes and Gardens Damon Deep Bowl Wood Burning Fire Pit

Better Homes and Gardens Damon Deep Bowl Wood Burning Fire Pit


Why You Should Get It
  • This no-frills option wins extra points for being the lightest pick on our list—only 15 pounds.

Keep in Mind
  • It produces a heavy amount of smoke, like most wood-burning fire pits.

This fire pit comes in at under $100 and stands out in two ways that the other budget options we tested didn’t: It’s quick to assemble and weighs just over 15 pounds, making it our lightest option on this list by far. The wood-burning model holds 5 pounds of wood thanks to its deep bowl. We were able to produce a fire that lasted for over an hour and was easy to tend to—the extra space allowed us to move the logs around and make adjustments.

Another reason this ended up being one of the best fire pits we tried is its included accessories. It shouldn’t stay outside in inclement weather, so we appreciate that it came with a cover. It also includes a mesh screen to control sparks (we didn’t feel unsafe without it, though, due to the deep bowl design) and comes with a poker to allow the user to safely adjust the burning wood at a distance. 

We also liked the simple aesthetic of the fire pit, which isn’t too ornate or decorative and would fit well in most backyards. If you’re looking for a simple model, don’t mind taking it in and out of a garage or basement when you want a fire, and like the idea of an affordable wood-burning option, this is a great pick.

Price at time of publish: $97

Product Details: Dimensions: 26 x 26 x 21.06 inches | Fuel Type: Wood | Material: Steel

Better Homes and Gardens Damon Deep Bowl Wood Burning Fire Pit being tested.

Better Homes & Gardens / Laura Miller

Best Splurge

Breeo X Series 24 Smokeless Fire Pit

Breeo X Series 24 Smokeless Fire Pit


Why You Should Get It
  • A corrosion-resistant patina that forms with use will prevent rusting over time.

Keep in Mind
  • It’s fairly heavy, making it difficult to move around to different locations.

Through our testing, we determined that the Breeo X Series Wood Burning Campfire is the best fire pit for people that host guests in their backyard all summer long. If that’s you, it’s well worth the price. Made in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this smokeless option uses double-walled construction to trap hot air in the gap between the walls and pressurized oxygen to essentially reburn it, creating a hotter and stronger fire. 

The double-wall and the reburn that comes from it produce added oxygen, which allows the pit to burn its own smoke before it reaches you. While the brand doesn’t claim to be 100% smokeless, it does give extensive tips on how to burn a fire with considerably less smoke than the average fire pit, like using shredded newspaper,  cardboard, or resin-soaked pine at its base. 

A special aspect of the Breeo is the use of Corten steel, which starts as a steel finish and, with use, forms a patina. The patina is a corrosion-resistant coating that prevents rusting and turns the fire pit a beautiful bronze color. To clean the Breeo and ensure consistently low-smoke fires, you’ll need to clear the ashes every four to five burns. We found setup to be incredibly easy without requiring any tools. The 62-pound pit can be left outside, so it requires very little upkeep. 

Another nice bonus: This can work as a grill if you choose to buy the campfire grate. Keep in mind that the fire pit’s accessories (like a cover or spark screen) do require additional purchases. 

Price at time of publish: $599

Product Details: Dimensions: 27.5 x 27.5 x 14.75 inches | Fuel Type: Wood | Material: Corten and alloy steel

Breeo X Series 24 Smokeless Fire Pit

Better Homes & Gardens / Katie McDonald

Best Wood-Burning

Frontgate Classic Copper Fire Pit

Frontgate Classic Copper Fire Pit


Why You Should Get It
  • The copper basin is extremely weather resistant and can be kept outside year-round.

Keep in Mind
  • It’s on the pricier side for a fire pit that isn’t smokeless.

We found this classic copper fire pit by Frontgate to be an all-around winner when it comes to performance, design, and value. If you have a spacious backyard or patio and love to entertain, this gorgeous wood-burning fire pit will be your best bet. The construction is part of the reason it's so pricey: Its heavy copper basin is made to handle both extreme heat and extreme weather, so you can keep it out all year long. 

It also features a sturdy iron grate that makes for a well-ventilated and thriving fire. The basin holds logs up to 2 feet long; we opted to use five logs during testing for a medium-sized fire, but felt like we could have easily fit twice as many. We like how the large size means it’s great for parties and entertaining; it can easily accommodate five or more people, with plenty of space for everyone. 

The setup takes mere minutes and requires no tools, but it’s heavy enough that you’ll likely need to do it with two people. Finally, there’s an option to add a spark guard made of powder-coated iron if you have children or pets around, too. While we were impressed with this fire pit, it’s worth noting that it’s pretty expensive for one that is not considered smokeless.

Price at time of publish: $552

Product Details: Dimensions: 40 x 39.78 x 14 inches | Fuel Type: Wood | Material: Copper and iron

Frontgate Classic Copper Fire Pit

Better Homes & Gardens / Jodi Espinosa

Best Propane

Outland Living Deluxe Fire Pit

Outland Living Deluxe Fire Pit


Why You Should Get It
  • This propane fire pit comes with accessories like a 10-foot hose and a lava rock for a mood-setting flicker.

Keep in Mind
  • You’ll need to purchase a propane tank separately to make this product work.

This Outland Living Deluxe Firebowl is the best fire pit if you’re looking for a low-maintenance propane option. Generally, propane fire pits are easier to clean (there’s no ash) and better to bring camping or in an RV, but they do require a propane tank. 

The Deluxe Firebowl has most of the accessories you need, which is another reason why we like it so much. It comes with a 10-foot hose to keep a standard 20-pound propane tank far away from the fire (the propane tank is the one thing that doesn’t come included, but you can find one at most hardware stores), an adjustable knob to vary your flame height, and a natural lava rock set to create a soothing, flickering effect. 

The stainless steel base is durable and weighs just over 23 pounds, and the manual ignition allows you to customize your flame and instantly create fire–no wood, matches, or kindle required. It’s also CSA-approved (which stands for the Canadian Standards Association and means that it met certain safety and performance metrics) and can likely be used during campfire bans because it’s a spark-free way to start a fire. Of course, check before you go camping if you can bring this fire pit, but if you can, it’s a great option for a worry-free fire. 

Price at time of publish: $103

Product Details: Dimensions: 19 x 19 x 11 inches | Fuel Type: Propane | Material: Alloy and stainless steel

Outland Living Firecube Gas Fire Pit being tested.

Better Homes & Gardens / Jennifer May

Best Smokeless

Solo Stove Yukon 2.0

Solo Stove Yukon 2.0


Why You Should Get It
  • This larger smokeless fire pit, perfect for a family or backyard party, can fit six large logs.

Keep in Mind
  • It burns logs pretty quickly, so you may need to reload it several times.

This Solo Stove model is over 6 inches wider and 6 inches taller in diameter than our pick for best fire pit overall, making it great for longer burn times and larger gatherings. We especially liked the construction of this piece: Setup is quick and easy, and it features a ring on the bottom to protect the grass from the extreme heat below and a ring on the top to encourage ventilation.

It has all of the features that Solo Stove has become so well-known for: The two-walled construction traps air between the walls to burn up smoke before it reaches your hair and clothes, its durable stainless steel will handle the elements and the intense heat while remaining relatively light for the size of the model, and it can easily be cleaned with the removable ash pan. 

We could fit six large logs in the pit, but they did burn fairly quickly. We were impressed with how evenly the fire burned as well. Still, the biggest draw of the Solo Stove is that, when properly cleaned and maintained, it’s a relatively smokeless and smell-free fire pit

Price at time of publish: $460

Product Details: Dimensions: 27 x 27 x 17 inches | Fuel Type: Wood | Material: Stainless steel

Best Portable

Tiki Retreat Smokeless Fire Pit

Tiki Retreat Smokeless Fire Pit


Why You Should Get It
  • The handles and rectangular construction make this a great option to bring to the beach, a friend’s house, or tailgating.

Keep in Mind
  • You’ll probably need another person to help you carry it.

This rectangular-shaped option from Tiki is one of the best fire pits to take on the road with you thanks to its size, shape, and built-in carry handles. It also has a removable ash tray pan that you can easily slide out and dump into a trash can, so cleanup is both minimal and convenient. 

It comes equipped with a few useful add-ons, like a Tiki-brand wood pack that helps you create an instant fire (in under 5 minutes) that produces a flame with a 4-foot radius. Those specs contribute to it being great to travel with. It’s quick to get a fire going, and when it starts, it won’t bother neighbors with a large flame or a ton of smoke (it’s a smokeless model). 

It also comes with a stand and a weather-resistant cover, which means you’ll have everything you need to get started. Of course, you can continue purchasing the wood packs or use regular wood and kindling to similar effects. The smooth, powder-coated steel will keep the fire pit looking brand new for a long time, and while it weighs 41 pounds, it should be easy enough to load in and out of a car with another person helping.

Price at time of publish: $246

Product Details: Dimensions: 21.50 x 14.50 x 16.70 inches | Fuel Type: Wood | Material: Powder-coated stainless steel

Tiki Brand 25-Inch Smokeless Fire Pit being tested.

Better Homes & Gardens / Emma Tollefson

Best Small

Novogratz Asher Wood Burning Fire Pit

Novogratz Asher Wood Burning Fire Pit


Why You Should Get It
  • This model comes with a grilling plate and other accessories that allow you to cook up a quick meal.

Keep in Mind
  • This does not hold a lot of wood, so expect short burn times.

This fun, decorative model we tried from Novogratz will look great all year long with its weather-resistant ceramic outside that comes in colors like persimmon, bright white, and dark green. We loved how attractive it was in comparison to many other fire pits on the market. Due to the small size, it would be a nice option for a patio or poolside area, though we found it too heavy to be truly portable.

The bowl that holds the wood is quite small, which only allowed us to add a few logs at a time during testing, and also meant we had to fill the bowl up every 30 minutes or so. However, this also made the fire pit burn evenly and without a ton of smoke, so there are upsides to the smaller size. 

Additionally, this fire pit has a less common accessory included: a grill grate, which will allow you to cook up some poolside treats whenever you want. We grilled some hot dogs on the grate and noted it took around 45 minutes for the bowl to be hot enough and the embers to be small enough for it to be safe to do so. 

You won’t be able to cook a gourmet meal on this fire pit, but it would be great for things like hot dogs, burgers, or other light and easy fare. The complete set comes with a rain cover, grill grate, fire pit dome, fire pit lid, and a grilling tool. 

Price at time of publish: $194

Product Details: Dimensions: 27 x 27 x 14.5 inches | Fuel Type: Wood | Material: Metal

Novogratz Asher 27-Inch Wood Burning Fire Pit being tested.

Better Homes & Gardens / Ashley Craiger

Best Tabletop

Solo Stove Mesa

Solo Stove Mesa

Solo Stove

Why You Should Get It
  • At only 6 inches tall, it fits just about anywhere, including small balconies and patios.

Keep in Mind
  • This fire pit is more for aesthetics than significant warmth due to the size.

The best fire pit for someone who doesn’t have a backyard is definitely this Solo Stove Mesa option we tested, as it’s perfect for a small balcony or patio, given that it only stands 6 inches tall and takes up hardly any space. If you want a little ambience but don’t have a large area outside to sit in, it’s a great, affordable option that also comes in a bunch of interesting colors like deep olive, mulberry, and bone. 

While we don’t recommend relying on this fire pit alone for significant warmth due to the size, we were still impressed with the heat it created. You can use small pieces of firewood to make this work, but might be better off using wood pellets or Solo Stove’s own mini oak pieces since they won’t have to be cut down to size. It comes with a stand and a carry bag—and because the fire pit only weighs a little over a pound, it’s definitely an easy option to take anywhere and store in a closet. 

Best of all, the Solo Stove Mesa has all of the specs the larger sizes have, including the stainless steel,double-walled construction and smokeless design. You can even roast marshmallows with the flame, allowing you to have the experience of a real fire pit even if you live in an area with limited outdoor space. 

Price at time of publish: $105

Product Details: Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 6 inches | Fuel Type: Pellet, wood | Material: Stainless steel and ceramic

Solo Stove Mesa

Better Homes & Gardens / Hannah Freedman

Best Stone

Koch Stone Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit

Koch Stone Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit


Why You Should Get It
  • If you love the idea of a stone fire pit but don’t want to shell out the money to hire a landscaper to create one, this is a nice option.

Keep in Mind
  • We wish it came with a protective cover, considering the price.

This stone, wood-burning fire pit has three main pros we found during testing: It’s aesthetically pleasing, generously sized, and easy to assemble. The classic stone base mimics the much more expensive option of hiring a landscaper to build a fire pit on your patio, which would certainly run you much more than this option from Arlmont & Co. 

Other than that, it checks all the boxes of what the best fire pits should do, without adding anything extra: It features a steel bowl that will withstand the high heat of wood burning, it’s sturdy and won’t break in inclement weather or windy conditions, and it comes with a poker and a mesh screen, though no protective cover. 

We found that you could use a sizable amount of logs in this (it should fit around six), but using half that allowed us to have a strong fire that burned with even heat. This isn’t a smokeless pit, so expect a hefty smoke output, but the real star of this fire pit is the rustic stone placement on the outside. It’s a beautifully crafted piece. 

Price at time of publish: $320

Product Details: Dimensions: 35 x 35 x 20.27 inches | Fuel Type: Wood | Material: Stone and steel

Koch Stone Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit being tested.

Better Homes & Gardens / Allison Vancura

Best for Camping

Outland Living Firecube

Outland Living Firecube


Why You Should Get It
  • The propane fuel means you may be able to use it in places with fire bans (but check the rules of your campsite first).

Keep in Mind
  • This isn’t meant to be a cooking surface; it’s better used as an area to warm up at night and for ambiance.

If you’re camping, backpacking, or RVing this summer, this Outland Living Firecube is one of the best options to add to your gear list. At a little over 22 pounds and 14 inches in diameter, it’s both easy to store and to pack. 

It’s CSA-approved (which means it has passed a series of safety metrics) and uses a 20-pound propane tank cylinder (not included, but available at most hardware stores) rather than wood, which allows it to be used in places that have bans on campfires, although it’s best to check with your campsite before you go. 

The kit comes with a pre-attached 10-foot hose, an adjustable regulator with a knob to control flame size, a cover/carry kit, and over 4 pounds of lava rocks to create a more realistic and flickering fire. It delivers a clean, smokeless burn and works quietly and in inclement weather. 

While it’s not meant to cook on (besides s’mores or weenies on a stick, of course), there’s a reason we chose one that doesn’t have a grill grate: If you’re camping and are counting on fire as a means to cook your food, propane fire pits generally aren’t made to make elaborate meals for a number of people. They’re great for camping because they produce a more controlled burn, but you’re much better off getting a charcoal grill or a camp stove, in addition to a fire pit, if you want to cook food.

Instead, use this Firecube to provide warmth and a source of flame for nights under the stars. However, if you’re camping in a place that doesn’t have a campfire ban, and you’d rather grill on the pit, check out the option below.

Price at time of publish: $125

Product Details: Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 9 inches | Fuel Type:  Propane | Material: Alloy steel

Best Design

Barebones Living Cowboy Fire Pit Grill

Barebones Living Cowboy Fire Pit Grill


Why You Should Get It
  • The pole and grill plate allow you to better control the temperature for cooking meals.

Keep in Mind
  • It needs to be stored indoors between uses to prevent rust.

This Barebones Living Fire Pit & Grill is a master class in smart design: the bowl is used as the fire pit, and to make it a grill, you attach the included pole and the grill grate to the side of that bowl. During testing, we found this allowed us to move the grill grate up and down, depending on how much direct flame you’re looking to have on your food, and gave us added freedom to control the temperature of the food. 

If you’re an outdoors lover who wants to be able to have a backyard campout—complete with dinner and s’mores—at a moment’s notice, this could be the best fire pit for you. It’s absolutely beautiful and the fire burns evenly, but it's slightly tricky to control the temperature as you’re cooking, which is why the pole is such a brilliant add-on. If your flame gets too high, you can move your food up without worrying about burning it. 

The Barebones pit is 30 pounds and needs to be taken indoors after use so it won’t rust, but it does come equipped with built-in handles to make that task a bit easier. For the higher price, it’s not a smokeless option, but if you couldn’t imagine creating a campfire without cooking up a meal on it, then this fire pit is worth the investment. It’s truly the best of both worlds and functions well as both a grill and a fire pit. 

Price at time of publish: $400

Product Details: Dimensions: 23.75 x 23.75 x 8.15 inches | Fuel Type: Wood | Material: Steel

Barebones Living Cowboy Fire Pit Grill being tested.

Better Homes & Gardens / Donna Freydkin

The Bottom Line

If you’re using a fire pit in your backyard, you can’t beat the Solo Stove Bonfire; it’s smokeless, easy to maintain, and will warm up at least six people. However, if you’re looking for a propane option, try out the Outland Living Deluxe Firebowl.

Our Testing Process

We recorded a number of data points when testing all 18  fire pits, and used each fire pit at least three times for hour-long durations. We started with timing how long the setup took, recording how clear the instructions were and if we needed any tools from home to build them. 

For wood-burning stoves, we built a fire using firewood with an approximate length of 16 inches (if applicable), and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In that hour-long burn time, we noted how easy the flame was to maintain, how even it was, and how smokeless it was. We also removed the ash after each use, and recorded the process and its ease. For propane fire pits, we tested every setting available and sat on each side of the pit during each setting. For all of the propane fire pits, we tested the usefulness of all included accessories and tested any noted design elements.

Better Homes and Gardens Damon Deep Bowl Wood Burning Fire Pit being tested.

Better Homes & Gardens / Laura Miller

What to Know About Fire Pits Before Shopping


The dimensions of a fire pit are generally only important if you’re looking for a very small or a very large fire pit. Smaller wood-burning models are generally under 30 inches in diameter (like our 27-inch smaller option), while smokeless options range between 20–30 inches. Propane fire pits are usually smaller in diameter, but the median range is generally 20 inches. And of course, tabletop fire pits are incredibly small, with many being 6 inches in height and in diameter.


Most fire pits are made with steel—and generally, steel is the best pick. It’s incredibly heat-resistant, weather-resistant, strong, and durable. However, there are some interesting exceptions. Our splurge pick, the Breeo X Series 24 Wood Burning Campfire, is made with Corten steel, which develops a patina over time that turns a lovely bronze color and prevents rust. Some bowls are made from copper, like our best wood-burning option, which is another material known for being tolerant for high heat and for its thermal conductivity. And sometimes the bases can be made of different material, like the Arlmont & Co. Koch Stone Fire Pit. However, with any product made of steel, it can corrode and rust over time, so make sure you’re using a waterproof cover if you leave it outside all year long.

Fuel Type

There are two types of fuel you’ll usually see for fire pits: wood and propane. They both work well but have a different set of pros and cons. Wood is a classic for a reason—with it, you get the crackling sound and the delicious smell. It’s also more customizable, as you can choose how much firewood you’d like to use to create a smaller or larger flame, and easier to cook with. However, it also takes more time and maintenance to manage a wood-burning fire, the smoke can sometimes get unruly, and the wood chopping and ash cleanup make it far from being a maintenance-free experience. 

Propane is instant; you simply turn the dial and you’ll have fire. It often has settings to allow you to choose how high your flame should be, and it’s easier to use when camping since you don’t have to worry as much about campfire bans or gathering enough kindling to keep a fire going all night. However, you have to fill it with propane and, like anything that uses gas, it poses a risk of a leak if not properly used.

Additional Features

If you’re using a smokeless fire pit, it should always have the double-walled construction that allows it to burn its own smoke off before it reaches you. If you’re using a wood-burning fire pit, it’s nice if it comes with a poker or a mesh screen to control the fire and prevent sparks from flying—and if it doesn’t, you may want to buy one. A stand is an important feature that allows a wood-burning pit to hover above the ground, allowing you to place it on surfaces like a deck or fresh grass without worrying about damage. You should also look for a way to remove ash via an ash pan or tray. Propane fire pits should come with a hose to connect the propane tank. Most fire pits also include  a carrying case or cover, as you need to protect it from the weather or transport it from your campsite to the car.


Safety is one of the biggest factors to consider when placing a fire pit in your backyard or campsite. You’ll always need to place it in an area at least 20 feet from your house, and away from hanging trees or plants. It should never be under an overhang or in a partially-enclosed space. The surface it sits on is equally important: Iit should be a non-combustible surface (that means no wood decks, vinyl, stamped concrete, or composite flooring without a stand), and is best used on a level area of dirt, sand, gravel, or stone. Do some research before you find the right spot, and check local laws to make sure you’re following all the right procedures if you’re placing one in your backyard.

Outland Living Deluxe Fire Pit being tested.

Better Homes & Gardens / Jennifer May

Other Fire Pits We Tested

Hampton Bay Tipton 34 in. Steel Deep Bowl Fire Pit in Oil Rubbed Bronze: The Hampton Bay Fire PIt did well for a basic wood-burning pit and got extra points for its large bowl that fit a nice amount of firewood. However, it was a bit hard to put together and ended up rusting quickly. Between those factors and the price point, there are better wood-burning fire pits to purchase—unless you particularly like the aesthetic of this one, in which case it would be a fine addition to your backyard.

Sunjoy 30-in W Copper In Tree Motif Steel Wood-Burning Fire Pit: This is another nice option if you like the aesthetic of the Sunjoy wood-burning fire pit; the copper color and the tree motif around the base add a pleasant rustic look to it. We thought it did its job and had a nice deep base to create large fires. However, while it wasn’t hard to put together, the included tools didn’t do the job, so we had to use our own tools to put the fire pit together. We also felt that the base radiated too much heat, and these factors were why it didn’t make our top picks.

Arlmont & Co. Gustafson Steel Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit: Again, for a basic wood-burning pit, this does the job, but there are a few reasons why it didn’t end up on our list. For one, it’s over $200, which is a higher price than most models with similar specs. Additionally, there were some issues with the construction of the base. The setup was complicated, and it took a few different tries to tighten and secure the different pieces. Finally, one of the tools that takes the mesh base on and off felt cheap and the handle scratched our hands when used.

Your Questions, Answered

What type of fire pit gives off the most heat?

If you’re using a fire pit to keep yourself warm, wood-burning is most likely the way to go, as wood burns hotter than gas. Propane fire pits are also limited in how big the flame can get, as it's designated to a few settings you choose by turning a knob, while wood can be stacked for flames to go as high as you’d like. Generally, though, they’ll both keep you pretty warm.

What is the best outdoor fire pit?

This, of course, depends on the way you’re using it. “From a camping perspective, the main factors I consider when looking for a fire pit are size, portability, and fuel source,” Cunningham says. “First, I want a fire pit that feels like I am sitting around a fire; I don't want it too small where I can't feel the heat. At the same time, I want it to be portable. I may pack it in my RV, bring it along car camping, or set it up in my backyard. If it's too big, that simply won't work.” If you’re using a fire pit for your backyard, keep to a wood-burning option. If you’re using a fire pit for camping, choose a propane model that is easy to take with you.

What is a good size fire pit for the backyard?

Again, this depends. For non-smokeless fire pits, the diameter of the bowl you stack the wood in tends to be over 30 inches in diameter, as you want to be able to stack wood and keep the fire going. Smokeless fire pits, however, tend to be smaller in diameter, but generally are large enough if they’re around 20 inches, with larger models going up to just under 30 inches. If you’re considering a fire pit for a very large party or want to burn a fire for a long time, it couldn’t hurt to choose a fire pit that’s larger in diameter, but if you’re in these ranges, you’ll be fine.

Who We Are

Alida Nugent is a commerce expert who has over six years of experience in the space and over 10 years of media experience. Additionally, she has specialized in gear reviews for campers and outdoor spaces. She interviewed Ryan Cunningham from Beyond the Tent for this article.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products.

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